Why is social media an important marketing tool for grocers? The biggest reason is this: most of your shoppers are already on there.
According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of adults in the United States say they use Facebook while 81 percent say they use YouTube. Another 40 say they use Instagram.
Those three alone would grab a big part of your customer base but if you want to target hyper local shoppers, you might want to include Nextdoor and, if you want to reach the younger crowd, you should consider TikTok and Snapchat.
The point is this: grocery stores should be on social media because that’s where the bulk of their shoppers spend their time online.
What are some strategies and tips for building a successful social presence for grocery stores? Here are some ideas:
Build where your customers go
We briefly mentioned targeting earlier when we touched on Nextdoor, TikTok and Snapchat. Each of those platforms has a smaller but more specialized user base when compared to Facebook. What does this mean for you and your grocery store?
Well, first off, realize that it’s not necessarily a zero sum game. Social users can play on several different platforms. But, you want to spend your time and efforts on social platforms where you can get the most success. Therefore, it makes sense to do some analysis of your existing customers and try to get a sense of the demographics of people who come to your store. Are they older or younger? More educated or less so? Take these demographics and see if you can match them to the social platforms that include most of those audiences.
In general, YouTube and Facebook skew to an older crowd while Snapchat, Instgram, TikTok and Twitter attract a younger demographic. Also keep in mind that women use Pinterest more than men by a wide margin (almost 30 percent more).
Use the receipts on your POS to promote your social channels
After you’ve decided where you want to build a social presence, you can use your grocery point of sale system to grow your audience. How? By printing information about your Facebook, Instagram and possibly Nextdoor pages on receipts. Customers often clutch those receipts and review them at home, so they should be considered valuable advertising real estate. Some customers prefer email receipts. Those are all the better for our purposes because you can include actual links in the email. How easy!
Create great content
Should you just throw up some coupons on Facebook and call it a day? While we’re sure people will appreciate the coupons, you’re missing out if you are not using social for more than promotional activities. Creating great content is how you truly connect with an audience.
The content can be as elaborate as you want. Film an entire cooking session in a studio with an audience. Post recipes with ingredients found in your store. Create contests for people to win prizes. Just make sure it’s quality content that people engage with, share, like and comment on.
Use your social channels for customer service
This is an area where many businesses overlook. But, anywhere where customers gather should be a place where you can offer customer service by answering questions and allowing customers to send messages if they have an issue. Facebook Messenger in particular can be a great tool for communicating with those customers who want to reach you or your business. Just make sure you have someone on the other end who will answer and follow up with the customer.
Experiment with paid ads
If you have extra budget, experimenting with paid social ads can help you grow tremendously. First off, you will show up more often in the feeds compared to just trying to do everything organically (meaning free).
But, more importantly, running paid ads can help you hone your message. How? The best way is to run two ads ad the same time but make one of them different in one way. Maybe you use a different headline but keep everything else the same. Did one of the ads receive more clicks than the other? If so, keep experimenting to see if the message in the winning headline continues to attract more clicks.